Istanbul Nightclub Attack Leaves 39 Dead, 69 InjuredSoutheast Europe | January 1, 2017, Sunday // 19:14| views
Screen capture: YouTube/CNN Turk
At least 39 people were killed in an attack at the Reina nightclub in Turkey early on Sunday, authorities say.
Sixty-nine were injured (eight of them critically) by the attacker who entered the popular club and started raving through the crowd, Hürriyet Daily News quotes Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin as saying.
Twenty-four of the victims are foreign nationals, and their number could rise, since only 21 of those killed have been indentified so far.
The development unfolded early into New Year celebrations, before 01:30 local time (22:30 GMT), or 01:45 according to the Interior Minister, Süleyman Soylu. The attacker is said to be still at large.
CNN Türk reports the man who entered the club was wearing a Santa Claus costume, although other footage aired by local TV stations shows he was dressed in black. Some witnesses report several attackers were firing.
Between 50 and 60 ambulances were deployed to the scene.
Reina, a famous nightclub located by the Bosphorus, is frequented by celebrities and, according to the BBC, is popular with foreigners. Hundreds of people are thought to have been incide at the time the attacker opened fire.
As with the previous attack on December 10, Turkey's media watchdog announced a media blackout over security concerns.
2017's first attack in Turkey added to a death toll of 275 victims and thousands wounded throughout 2016 in major bombings or shootings by the Islamic State (IS) group, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) or its offshoots.
Arkan Aydemir, a former lawmaker, told the BBC over the phone the attack was a symbolic target against secular lifestyle and was "quite similar to the Paris attacks [on November 13, 2015]."
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